What Type Of Shareholder Owns Fuel Tech, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:FTEK)?

Every investor in Fuel Tech, Inc. (NASDAQ:FTEK) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. Institutions often own shares in more established companies, while it’s not unusual to see insiders own a fair bit of smaller companies. Warren Buffett said that he likes ‘a business with enduring competitive advantages that is run by able and owner-oriented people’. So it’s nice to see some insider ownership, because it may suggest that management is owner-oriented.

Fuel Tech is a smaller company with a market capitalization of US$23m, so it may still be flying under the radar of many institutional investors. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutions own shares in the company. Let’s take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholder can tell us about Fuel Tech.

Check out our latest analysis for Fuel Tech

NasdaqGS:FTEK Ownership Summary, January 14th 2020
NasdaqGS:FTEK Ownership Summary, January 14th 2020

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Fuel Tech?

Many institutions measure their performance against an index that approximates the local market. So they usually pay more attention to companies that are included in major indices.

As you can see, institutional investors own 27% of Fuel Tech. This can indicate that the company has a certain degree of credibility in the investment community. However, it is best to be wary of relying on the supposed validation that comes with institutional investors. They too, get it wrong sometimes. If multiple institutions change their view on a stock at the same time, you could see the share price drop fast. It’s therefore worth looking at Fuel Tech’s earnings history, below. Of course, the future is what really matters.

NasdaqGS:FTEK Income Statement, January 14th 2020
NasdaqGS:FTEK Income Statement, January 14th 2020

Fuel Tech is not owned by hedge funds. Douglas Bailey is currently the company’s largest shareholder with 27% of shares outstanding. The second largest shareholder with 7.5%, is Grace & White, Inc., followed by Renaissance Technologies Corp., with an ownership of 4.7%.

On studying the facts and figures more closely, we found that 9 of the top shareholders account for 51% of the register, implying that along with larger shareholders, there are a few smaller shareholders, thereby balancing out each others interests somewhat.

While studying institutional ownership for a company can add value to your research, it is also a good practice to research analyst recommendations to get a deeper understand of a stock’s expected performance. While there is some analyst coverage, the company is probably not widely covered. So it could gain more attention, down the track.

Insider Ownership Of Fuel Tech

While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. The company management answer to the board; and the latter should represent the interests of shareholders. Notably, sometimes top-level managers are on the board, themselves.

Insider ownership is positive when it signals leadership are thinking like the true owners of the company. However, high insider ownership can also give immense power to a small group within the company. This can be negative in some circumstances.

It seems insiders own a significant proportion of Fuel Tech, Inc.. Insiders own US$7.0m worth of shares in the US$23m company. It is great to see insiders so invested in the business. It might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying recently.

General Public Ownership

The general public holds a 42% stake in FTEK. This size of ownership, while considerable, may not be enough to change company policy if the decision is not in sync with other large shareholders.

Next Steps:

I find it very interesting to look at who exactly owns a company. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. Consider risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we’ve spotted 1 warning sign for Fuel Tech you should know about.

If you would prefer discover what analysts are predicting in terms of future growth, do not miss this free report on analyst forecasts.

NB: Figures in this article are calculated using data from the last twelve months, which refer to the 12-month period ending on the last date of the month the financial statement is dated. This may not be consistent with full year annual report figures.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.

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